Keeping Tabs on the Seat of Our Feeling
by Bill Tims
In diagnosing the condition of the lungs, we can look first at the face in the area of the cheeks on a line with the mouth. A sallow, pale or slightly puffy appearance of the cheeks usually suggests weakness and under activity in the lung function and is generally accompanied by poor circulation, difficult breathing (particularly in a prone position), weak chest muscles leading to rounding and tensing of the shoulders, a drooped posture, and often a tendency toward anemia and obesity. If this condition becomes chronic it can often lead to pleurisy, emphysema, asthma, and the progressive development toward lung or breast cancer. This condition is most commonly associated with the excessive consumption of hard saturated fats such as in cheeses and eggs; the excessive consumption of dry, baked, salty foods that leads to excessive fluid consumption; the lack of consumption of fresh or lightly cooked crisp green vegetables; excessive smoking; and a lack of cardio respiratory exercise.
Common signs which appear in the cheeks and indicate an excessive and hyperactive function of the lungs are:
- Pimples, indicating excessive storage of fatty acid mucus in the lungs, usually the result of saturated animal fat, especially milk products, and refined white sugar;
- White cheeks, indicating storage of saturated animal fats, especially from milk products;
- Red cheeks, indicating a hyperactive condition of the blood capillaries of the lungs caused primarily by fruits and fruit juices, stimulants, spices, and refined sugar;
- A drawn, overly tight appearance sometimes including vertical lines in the cheeks showing restriction of the chest muscles, blood flow, and alveoli function, most commonly caused by excessive salt and/or fish and poultry consumption plus dry or baked foods. This condition often leads to pneumonia;
- Brown blotches, indicating chronic acidosis of the blood caused primarily by refined sugar consumption and often indicting a precancerous condition;
- Shades of green showing a progressive development toward cancer in he lungs or the breast;
- Beauty marks, indicating a past fever in the lungs;
- Moles, showing the excessive storage of mucus from animal protein consumption.
Any of these signs which show mucus and fatty acid storage in the lungs can often lead to allergies, bronchitis, whooping cough, nasal congestion, tuberculosis, and precancerous development. All these signs of hyperactivity in the function of the lungs are often accompanied by constipation and tight chest muscles resulting in hard, tense, rounding shoulders. These preceding skin colors and blemishes may also appear along the acupuncture meridian of the lungs.
Next, we can see the condition of the lungs by observing the whites of the eyes (sclera), using the diagram showing the areas of the white and their corresponding organs as in the illustration.
For example, a bloodshot look in the region that corresponds to the lungs, means that the blood capillaries in the lungs are inflamed and expanded. Dark spots appearing in the upper region of the eye show the development of calcified stones in the sinuses. A pale color anywhere in the sclera denotes weakness in the lungs, and a green color or transparency in the lung region reflects the progressive development of lung or breast cancer.
We can next diagnose by touching, either the area of the abdomen (the two points located in the front of the abdomen, at the lowest point of the ribcage), on the back relating to the lungs (in the area between the upper third of the shoulder blades. left and right of the spine), or along the lung acupuncture meridian. This will confirm or shed new light on our visual diagnosis.
To practice the abdominal diagnosis, have the person that you wish to examine lie comfortably on his or her back with raised knees. Ask them to breathe deeply, and on the out breath press deeply but gently into the area that you are examining. If be touching this area or the lung area on the back or anywhere along the acupuncture meridian for the lungs, you encounter looseness and flabbiness superficially and pain and hardness with deep pressure, this indicates a weak condition of the lung function. Superficial hardness, tension, pain or oversensitivity indicates a hyperactive or excessive lung function. In addition, if the lung function is weak, quite often the thumb will be weak and fatigued. If the lung is hyperactive there will be tension or a pulling pain in the thumb.
One of the most often used and most highly respected of Oriental healing techniques has been pulse diagnosis. In order to become sensitive to the hundreds of different qualities of the pulses one needs years of practice; however, using the illustration to locate the lung pulse, you can easily begin to use this technique to judge whether the organ is weak or hyperactive. To practice this technique, face your partner using the index finger of your left hand to locate the lung point on their right wrist, while supporting this pressure by placing your thumb underneath their wrist. Press on the point labeled for the lungs as deeply as you can, then release slightly until you feel the pulse appear.(If you fail to release, you will clamp the pulse off altogether.)Try not to touch any other part of their body while taking the pulse as this will tend to confuse your diagnosis.
The pulse should feel steady and of moderate strength. A slow, faint, or irregular pulse indicates an under active function of the lungs. A rapid or bounding pulse indicates a more hyperactive lung function. The pulse for the large intestine, which is the complementary/antagonistic organ to the lungs, is located on the same point as the lungs but is felt superficially rather than deeply, by applying only light pressure to the point.
Psychologically and emotionally the lungs were considered in the Far East as the seat of our feelings, our sentiments, and our ability to experience sadness. If the lungs become weak, there is usually a tendency to self-pity, to be anti-social, and to carry a somewhat quiet or inward depression, lacking will and vitality.
If the lungs become hyperactive there is a tendency toward more outward expressions of depression such as crying, sobbing, and verbal pessimism or a strong lashing out at others.
For problems associated with the lungs, avoid all milk products, refined sugar and flour products, raw fruits and fruit juices, hot spices, stimulants (especially coffee), and excessive smoking, while emphasizing in your diet brown rice, fermented soybean products such as tempeh, natto, miso, or shoyu broth along with lightly cooked green vegetables, as well as some regular cardiorespiratory exercise. If the lung condition is weak, you may also try for a while adding to your diet condiment-size quantities of pungent foods for toning the lungs, such as ginger, radish, daikon radish, or scallions. If the condition is hyperactive, you may want to try emphasizing in your diet for a while lightly cooked white vegetables such as turnips, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, watercress, cucumber, and celery.